It would seem The Spark has lit a fire among voters for the SOCAN Songwriting Prize.
William Prince’s single earned the Peguis First Nation singer-songwriter the prize in the English category on Wednesday morning.
The song, which is from Prince’s 2020 sophomore album Reliever, was the top vote-getter in an online vote held July 16-30 among Canadian music fans. His song was one of 10 nominees chosen by a panel of music experts.
"Songwriting has been a part of my life for so long. The Spark goes back to my earliest days of learning how to communicate love and hope through music," Prince says in a SOCAN release. "Winning the SOCAN prize is terrific affirmation of the beginning of my life’s work and motivation to keep working on the next chapters."
The Spark has received almost 1.1 million listens on the Spotify streaming site and the official music video has logged more than 130,000 views on YouTube.com. It adds to the 34-year-old’s growing list of honours, which include a 2017 Juno Award and a Western Canadian Music Award in 2016. Reliever also made the Polaris Music Prize longlist earlier this summer and in February, he performed The Spark during a three-song appearance on CBS This Morning Saturday in February.
Other Manitoban artists who have won the SOCAN award during its 15-year history include Propagandhi (A Speculative Fiction) in 2006 and the Weakerthans (Night Windows) in 2008.
This year’s French winner is the Evelyne Brochu song Maintenant ou jamais, which was written by Félix Dyotte.
Prince picks up $5,000 for winning the contest as well as a Yamaha keyboard and a $500 gift card from Long & McQuade.
Alan Small has been a journalist at the Free Press for more than 22 years in a variety of roles, the latest being a reporter in the Arts and Life section.